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In 2011 a local group of concerned citizens created the Lemhi Education Project with a goal of establishing a way to bring educational opportunities to local residents. The founders were concerned that the area’s remote location isolated residents from any possibility of continuing college or technical school and hoped that providing educational opportunities it would make it easier for people to stay here and raise families. Its mission was and is to improve the lives of Lemhi County residents by offering in-person professional expertise and crucial educational resources.

Six years later the LEP is still in existence and has an impressive list of accomplishments according to the LEP Director Deb Truelock. She said the LEP is working with the Eastern Idaho Technical College (EITC) and that LEP may someday become an outreach center for the community college.

In her June 7 report to the Salmon City Council she said during the last year 16 participants have become Certified Nursing Assistants. She said that the CNA program, in conjunction with EITEC and the Discovery Care Center, will continue this fall and Winter on an as-needed basis. One of the program participants was a High School student.

As far as community educational programs there are classes in computers and Truelock said a class in “devices” was a huge success. It had to do with learning how to use iPads, iPhones or tablets. There are also ‘Assistance With Medications’ classes and there is a class in ‘Phlebotomy’ going on right now which will run for six Saturdays.

Just days before the council meeting word was received that an Idaho Department of Labor Sector Grant for the two year LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) program has been approved. There are 23 people that have expressed interest in the program and it is hoped ten or 12 will become enrolled. Truelock commented that three additional calls for LPN program information have been received since the recent grant news was posted on Facebook.

The General Equivalency Degree (GED) program provides free tutoring and proctoring. In the last six months 28 tests have been overseen for six people and LEP has proctored 87 on-line exams. So far this year LEP has provided 35 tutoring visits.

The city’s yearly contribution to LEP has been $12,000 and a donation for next year will be considered during the upcoming 2018 budget discussions.

The LEP is a subcommittee of the non-profit Lemhi County Economic Development Association (LCEDA) which provides LEP with guidance, support and the use of the LCEDA facility.

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